Letter to Editor
My dear Muslim brothers and sisters.
Hindus do not worship the cow.
They hold cows in very high esteem.
It is a respect they give to an animal that provided and supported them enormously within their agricultural history.
Let us respect that, please.
Let us practice compassion, understanding and empathy.
It is unfortunate that some of our religious leaders make comments about the beliefs of others without having adequate knowledge of the religion.
It is hurtful and does not bring any good to Perpaduan Negara.
Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s poem is a case in point.
I have strong convictions Asri is not alone, nor the poor understanding about the other the monopoly of Muslim leaders only.
Ironically, while Malaysia boasts of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious setting and history, our understanding of the other is still wanting.
We cannot and must not allow this to continue.
We need deliberate government policies perhaps under the Prime Minister’s Office to right the status quo.
We need it as part of the key goals of TN50.
That Asri wrote the poem defending Zakir Naik cuts the wound even deeper.
Hindus see Zakir Naik as a preacher who misquote and belittle their religion to support his position of Islam.
Personally, I stopped eating beef in 1985 on my 21st birthday although my favorite food then was Mc Donald’s quarter pounder cheese.
I was trying to convince my college to stop serving beef to respect the Hindus as we do not serve pork at the university.
Since I did not managed to convince them, I decided I should start with myself.
So since then not only I do not eat beef, it is also a policy not to serve them at my office functions, at the office or at home.
Since these are within my area of control. I have not taken beef for 32 years.
I have Hindu friends who have many Malay friends who avoid pork too.
That is the beauty of Malaysia. I have many non-Muslims Chinese and Indian friends who avoids going to non-halal eating places when I am in the picture.
That is the beauty of Malaysia.
For Malaysia to succeed we need to practice compassion, understanding and empathy.
I humbly suggest to all my Muslim brothers and sisters to stop serving beef at all functions within our control even if only one Hindu is present.
We must also try to avoid korban lembu during Raya Haji.
We can korban other animals.
I do not recommend these across the world.
But for Malaysia, this is the way forward.